Uber, and other for-hire, drivers have a stricter set of rules to abide by, the result of several bills passed by the City Council on Thursday governing everything from how the fare is calculated to higher penalties for illegal hails in the city and at the airports.
The bills include a provision that caps the fare at no more than 20% of the quoted price. If the price is quoted as a range, the upper end can’t be more than 150% of the lower end.
“There’s a lot of challenges in the way it’s currently set up. We were trying to really look at creating… a level playing field for all players,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “What we’re recommending and putting forth today is meant to be the beginning of the conversation.”
“One of the concerns that people most frequently have when it comes to surge pricing is the surprise at the end. said Council Member Daniel Garodnick, who added the bill will succeed in “reducing the surprise factor.”
The bills also increase fines for any illegal street hails at the airports, and in Manhattan below East 96th Street and West 110th Street. The penalty will be $2,000 for a first offense, $4,000 for a second offense withing 24 months, and $10,000 for a third offense within 120 months.
“Uber supports efforts to protect consumers and the drivers who earn a living as [for hire vehicle] drivers,” said spokeswoman Alix Anfang in a statement.
“We commend the City Council’s efforts to crack down on illegal street hails, ensure all apps have clear price transparency rules, implement universal licensing across the industry and extend black car retirement age.”